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Author Topic: Poems that Inspire  (Read 6839 times)

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Offline Esk

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #15 on: 06/14/14, 10:00:22 AM »
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By Billy Collins

Genius

was what they called you in high school
if you tripped on a shoelace in the hall
and all your books went flying.

Or if you walked into an open locker door,
you would be known as Einstein,
who imagined riding a streetcar into infinity.

Later, genius became someone
who could take a sliver of chalk and square pi
a hundred places out beyond the decimal point,

or a man painting on his back on a scaffold,
or drawing a waterwheel in a margin,
or spinning out a little night music.

But earlier this week on a wooded path,
I thought the swans afloat on the reservoir
were the true geniuses,
the ones who had figured out how to fly,
how to be both beautiful and brutal,
and how to mate for life.

Twenty-four geniuses in all,
for I numbered them as Yeats had done,
deployed upon the calm, crystalline surface—

forty-eight if we count their white reflections,
or an even fifty if you want to throw in me
and the dog running up ahead,

who were at least smart enough to be out
that morning—she sniffing the ground,
me with my head up in the bright morning air.

Imperial: Eskenah, Emlaira, Qoasha, Nochot, Linhua, Qorit
Republic: Etirza, Soori, Eswolyn, Annave, Foha, Nadimai, Yue-ming
Ialdon: Therem, Shilee
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Offline Esk

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #16 on: 06/26/14, 09:01:49 PM »
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VII
 - by Wendell Berry


Again I resume the long
lesson: how small a thing
can be pleasing, how little
in this hard world it takes
to satisfy the mind
and bring it to its rest.

Within the ongoing havoc
the woods this morning is
almost unnaturally still.
Through stalled air, unshadowed
light, a few leaves fall
of their own weight.

                                       The sky
is gray. It begins in mist
almost at the ground
and rises forever. The trees
rise in silence almost
natural, but not quite,
almost eternal, but
not quite.

                      What more did I
think I wanted? Here is
what has always been.
Here is what will always
be. Even in me,
the Maker of all this
returns in rest, even
to the slightest of His works,
a yellow leaf slowly
falling, and is pleased.


"VII" by Wendell Berry from This Day. © Counterpoint Press, 2013.

Imperial: Eskenah, Emlaira, Qoasha, Nochot, Linhua, Qorit
Republic: Etirza, Soori, Eswolyn, Annave, Foha, Nadimai, Yue-ming
Ialdon: Therem, Shilee
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Offline Joshmaul

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #17 on: 06/26/14, 09:33:38 PM »
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One should always be drunk.
That's all that matters; that's our one imperative need.
So as not to feel Time's horrible burden
that breaks your shoulders and bows you down,
you must get drunk without ceasing.
But what with?
With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you choose.
But get drunk.
And if, at some time, on the steps of a palace,
in the green grass of a ditch,
in the bleak solitude of your room,
you are waking up when drunkenness has already abated,
ask the wind, the wave, a star, the clock,
all that which flees, all that which groans,
all that which rolls, all that which sings,
all that which speaks,
ask them what time it is;
and the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock will reply:
"It is time to get drunk!
So that you may not be the martyred slaves of Time, get drunk;
get drunk, and never pause for rest!
With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you choose!"


- Charles Pierre Baudelaire (1821-1867)
Circled tomb of a different age
Secret lines carved on ancient stone
Heroic kings laid down to rest
Forgotten is the race that no one knows


Offline Esk

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #18 on: 07/19/14, 11:40:25 AM »
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The Sound of Sunlight
- by Todd Davis

On the far side
of the canyon
light
is burning
through two
draws
like water
rushing
into an empty
riverbed.

A canyon wren
opens
her mouth
and a coyote
stops
mid trail
before vanishing
among juniper.

As we descend
the eastern wall
we look
down
onto
ponderosa
pine
and witness
the shadow
of a merlin
chase
the merlin
itself.

Behind us
in the meadow
where we lay
last night
the squall
of an elk
picks up
the sound
of sunlight
and joins it
in a flood
of bugling.

"The Sound of Sunlight" by Todd Davis from In the Kingdom of the Ditch. © Michigan State University Press, 2013.

Imperial: Eskenah, Emlaira, Qoasha, Nochot, Linhua, Qorit
Republic: Etirza, Soori, Eswolyn, Annave, Foha, Nadimai, Yue-ming
Ialdon: Therem, Shilee
<The Koonto Legacy>

Offline Esk

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #19 on: 08/01/14, 12:09:33 AM »
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For the Children
- by Gary Snyder

The rising hills, the slopes,
of statistics
lie before us,
the steep climb
of everything, going up,
up, as we all
go down.

In the next century
or the one beyond that,
they say,
are valleys, pastures,
we can meet there in peace
if we make it.

To climb these coming crests
one word to you, to
you and your children:

stay together
learn the flowers
go light


"For the Children" by Gary Snyder, from Turtle Island. © New Directions, 1974.

Imperial: Eskenah, Emlaira, Qoasha, Nochot, Linhua, Qorit
Republic: Etirza, Soori, Eswolyn, Annave, Foha, Nadimai, Yue-ming
Ialdon: Therem, Shilee
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Offline Esk

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #20 on: 08/02/14, 11:51:52 AM »
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Small boy
- by Norman MacCaig


He picked up a pebble
and threw it into the sea.

And another, and another.
He couldn't stop.

He wasn't trying to fill the sea.
He wasn't trying to empty the beach.

He was just throwing away,
nothing else but.

Like a kitten playing
he was practising for the future

when there'll be so many things
he'll want to throw away

if only his fingers will unclench
and let them go.

"Small boy" by Norman MacCaig from The Poems of Norman MacCaig. © Birlinn, 2009.

Imperial: Eskenah, Emlaira, Qoasha, Nochot, Linhua, Qorit
Republic: Etirza, Soori, Eswolyn, Annave, Foha, Nadimai, Yue-ming
Ialdon: Therem, Shilee
<The Koonto Legacy>

Offline Esk

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #21 on: 08/03/14, 11:43:10 PM »
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What Gorgeous Thing
- by Mary Oliver

I do not know what gorgeous thing
       the bluebird keeps saying,
his voice easing out of his throat,
       beak, body into the pink air
of the early morning. I like it
       whatever it is. Sometimes
it seems the only thing in the world
       that is without dark thoughts.
Sometimes it seems the only thing
       in the world that is without
questions that can't and probably
       never will be answered, the
only thing that is entirely content
       with the pink, then clear white
morning and, gratefully, says so.


"What Gorgeous Thing" by Mary Oliver, from Blue Horses. © Published by Penguin Press, 2014

Imperial: Eskenah, Emlaira, Qoasha, Nochot, Linhua, Qorit
Republic: Etirza, Soori, Eswolyn, Annave, Foha, Nadimai, Yue-ming
Ialdon: Therem, Shilee
<The Koonto Legacy>

Offline Esk

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #22 on: 08/11/14, 10:41:54 PM »
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Failing and Flying
-by Jack Gilbert

Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It's the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
worth doing is worth doing badly.
Like being there by that summer ocean
on the other side of the island while
love was fading out of her, the stars
burning so extravagantly those nights
that anyone could tell you they would never last.
Every morning she was asleep in my bed
like a visitation, the gentleness in her
like antelope standing in the dawn mist.
Each afternoon I watched her coming back
through the hot stony field after swimming,
the sea light behind her and the huge sky
on the other side of that. Listened to her
while we ate lunch. How can they say
the marriage failed? Like the people who
came back from Provence (when it was Provence)
and said it was pretty but the food was greasy.
I believe that Icarus was not failing as he fell,
but just coming to the end of his triumph.

"Failing and Flying" by Jack Gilbert, from Refusing Heaven. © Knopf, 2005.

Imperial: Eskenah, Emlaira, Qoasha, Nochot, Linhua, Qorit
Republic: Etirza, Soori, Eswolyn, Annave, Foha, Nadimai, Yue-ming
Ialdon: Therem, Shilee
<The Koonto Legacy>

Offline Esk

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #23 on: 08/31/14, 08:38:38 PM »
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Be Kind
-by Michael Blumenthal


Not merely because Henry James said
 there were but four rules of life—
be kind be kind be kind be kind— but
 because it's good for the soul, and,
 what's more, for others; it may be
 that kindness is our best audition
 for a worthier world, and, despite
 the vagueness and uncertainty of
 its recompense, a bird may yet wander
 into a bush before our very houses,
 gratitude may not manifest itself in deeds
 entirely equal to our own, still there's
 weather arriving from every direction,
 the feasts of famine and feasts of plenty
 may yet prove to be one, so why not
 allow the little sacrificial squinches and
 squigulas to prevail? Why not inundate
 the particular world with minute particulars?
 Dust's certainly all our fate, so why not
 make it the happiest possible dust,
 a detritus of blessedness? Surely
 the hedgehog, furling and unfurling
 into its spiked little ball, knows something
 that, with gentle touch and unthreatening
 tone, can inure to our benefit, surely the wicked
 witches of our childhood have died and,
 from where they are buried, a great kindness
 has eclipsed their misdeeds. Yes, of course,
 in the end so much comes down to privilege
 and its various penumbras, but too much
 of our unruly animus has already been
 wasted on reprisals, too much of the
 unblessed air is filled with smoke from
 undignified fires. Oh friends, take
 whatever kindness you can find
 and be profligate in its expenditure:
 It will not drain your limited resources,
 I assure you, it will not leave you vulnerable
 and unfurled, with only your sweet little claws
 to defend yourselves, and your wet little noses,
 and your eyes to the ground, and your little feet.

"Be Kind" by Michael Blumenthal, from No Hurry. © Etruscan Press, 2012.

Imperial: Eskenah, Emlaira, Qoasha, Nochot, Linhua, Qorit
Republic: Etirza, Soori, Eswolyn, Annave, Foha, Nadimai, Yue-ming
Ialdon: Therem, Shilee
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Offline Esk

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #24 on: 12/03/14, 08:54:10 PM »
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Wait
by Galway Kinnell

Wait, for now.
Distrust everything if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven’t they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become interesting.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again;
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands. And the desolation
of lovers is the same: that enormous emptiness
carved out of such tiny beings as we are
asks to be filled; the need
for the new love is faithfulness to the old.

Wait.
Don’t go too early.
You’re tired. But everyone’s tired.
But no one is tired enough.
Only wait a little and listen:
music of hair,
music of pain,
music of looms weaving all our loves again.
Be there to hear it, it will be the only time,
most of all to hear
the flute of your whole existence,
rehearsed by the sorrows, play itself into total exhaustion.

Imperial: Eskenah, Emlaira, Qoasha, Nochot, Linhua, Qorit
Republic: Etirza, Soori, Eswolyn, Annave, Foha, Nadimai, Yue-ming
Ialdon: Therem, Shilee
<The Koonto Legacy>

Offline Nightmoon

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #25 on: 01/24/15, 01:14:04 PM »
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Once more you fill bush and valley
With your misty light,
At last also you bring
Rest to me
With calm you spread your brilliant gaze
Over the fields around me
Like my loved one watching my fate
With his gentle eyes

Every echo fills my heart
With memories of glad and sad times,
I pass between the happiness and pain
In loneliness.

Flow on, flow on my beloved river,
Happiness will not return to me
Thus they passed from me
Laughter, kisses and fidelity.

Though once I held
what is so precious,
What one to his torment
Will never forget.

Rumble, o river, along the valley,
Without rest or silence,
Rumble and whisper melodies
For my song.

When on winter nights you
Rage and spill your banks,
Or when you surge around
The springtime glory of young buds

Blessed are we who withdraw
From the world without hate
Holding a friend to the breast,
And with him enjoy

That which is not known to man
Or not contemplated
Wandering in the night
Through the labyrinth of the heart.
–Johann Wolfgang Goethe
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Offline Esk

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #26 on: 03/08/15, 11:33:22 PM »
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Happiness
by Jane Kenyon

There’s just no accounting for happiness,
or the way it turns up like a prodigal
who comes back to the dust at your feet
having squandered a fortune far away.

And how can you not forgive?
You make a feast in honor of what
was lost, and take from its place the finest
garment, which you saved for an occasion
you could not imagine, and you weep night and day
to know that you were not abandoned,
that happiness saved its most extreme form
for you alone.

No, happiness is the uncle you never
knew about, who flies a single-engine plane
onto the grassy landing strip, hitchhikes
into town, and inquires at every door
until he finds you asleep midafternoon.
as you so often are during the unmerciful
hours of your despair.

It comes to the monk in his cell.
It comes to the woman sweeping the street
with a birch broom, to the child
whose mother has passed out from drink.
It comes to the lover, to the dog chewing
a sock, to the pusher, to the basket maker,
and to the clerk stacking cans of carrots
in the night.

It even comes to the boulder
in the perpetual shade of pine barrens,
to rain falling on the open sea,
to the wineglass, weary of holding wine.


“Happiness” by Jane Kenyon from Otherwise: New and Selected Poems. © Graywolf Press, 1997.

Imperial: Eskenah, Emlaira, Qoasha, Nochot, Linhua, Qorit
Republic: Etirza, Soori, Eswolyn, Annave, Foha, Nadimai, Yue-ming
Ialdon: Therem, Shilee
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Offline Abbon

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #27 on: 05/16/15, 09:26:04 AM »
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I love this thread. This is one of my favorite poems and has inspired me time and time again. Its a fairly popular poem so some of you may have seen it or even heard at least a portion of it before...

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.


Offline TrystanLaryssa

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #28 on: 05/16/15, 01:07:53 PM »
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I know that Shel Silverstein is generally known for his comedic works, and the book of poems in which I found this one was no exception... but it's a tiny little poem that jumped out at me as being something "more" and it has attached itself to various characters over the years.


Colors

My skin is kind of sort of brownish
Pinkish yellowish white.
My eyes are grayish blueish green, 
But I’m told they look orange in the night.
My hair is reddish blondish brown,
But it’s silver when it’s wet. 
And all the colors I am inside
Have not been invented yet.

Offline Armeria

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Re: Poems that Inspire
« Reply #29 on: 05/25/15, 10:51:39 PM »
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Love Sonnet XI





I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.


I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.


I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,


and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.



Pablo Neruda
(1904 - 1973)